After two years of grueling development work, Devra Sisitsky and Bryan Patton are nearing the finish line for “breaking ground” on MakerspaceCT, a 15,000 square foot facility they are planning to open in Hartford, Connecticut, at the Colt Building. The focus in this commercial makerspace will be hardware development, and providing access to a CNC machine shop, woodshop, metal fabrication shop, electronics and robotics, arts shops, ceramic and glass work, digital fabrication shop, 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters and engravers, vacuum forming machine, and much more.
Excited by their venture and desiring a broader forum where they could ramp up the conversation between Connecticut’s makers and decision-makers, they decided to develop the New England Maker Summit: Why Making Matters in partnership with the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center. The Summit, coming up on Thursday, November 17 from 1:30–8pm at the University of Hartford, will demonstrate how Connecticut is poised to take advantage of the potential impact the Maker Movement has on economic development, community revitalization, and educational prospects for training the next generation of Connecticut workers. Get your ticket today!
Particularly interested in the effect making has on manufacturing, Devra said, “Over the past few decades, America has become complacent in its support of manufacturing and, as a result, we have bred generations of Americans that have never been exposed to making or even fixing things. Making can bridge that gap back to innovation and financial stability. We want to get Connecticut excited about this!”
The impressive speaker lineup includes:
• Dale Dougherty, Founder and CEO of Make:, will speak about the importance and impact of the Maker Movement and how Make: and Maker Faire continue to educate and enable Makers to grow and succeed globally.
• Balam Soto, new media artist, Maker and co-founder of Open Wire Lab LLC in Hartford, will discuss the educational and economic opportunities of the Maker Movement.
• Mark Hatch, Co-Founder and former CEO of TechShop, will talk about the economic impact a well-equipped makerspace can have on a community.
• Tia Capps from CO.LAB will talk about how Chattanooga, Tennessee, reinvented itself through initiatives like the Gigtank startup accelerator for high bandwidth technology businesses.
• Bonnie Koba, Director of the HOT (Higher Order Thinking) school program, will detail how making can help us effectively implement STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) education in the schools.
• Ken Butler and Ed Potokar, musicians and Makers who create their own instruments, will perform.
• Devra Sisitsky and Bryan Patton, founders of MakerSpaceCT and the Maker Summit, will talk about the New Tech Economy and give an overview of how all the parts of the Maker Movement fit together to create growth.
In addition to meeting numerous Connecticut Makers who will be exhibiting, attendees will learn:
• How “making to manufacturing” is creating new businesses and jobs
• The educational benefits of makerspaces
• Why the White House is promoting making
• What resources are available to get making more active in Connecticut
About the founding and host organizations:
MakerspaceCT is developing a large commercial space in the Greater Hartford Area providing members access to educational classes and tools. MakerspaceCT will be a community resource open to the public that will offer training on the equipment and tools needed to make or manufacture prototypes, cosplay, hobbyist, and artistic projects. They place an emphasis on hardware, prototype creation, electronics, coding, fiber arts, fabrication (both wood and metal), traditional blacksmithing, glass blowing, ceramics, and the arts. For more information, visit us online.
The University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center (EC) provides hands-on coaching and business training for new and expanding small businesses, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs, throughout Connecticut. The center is taking a lead in innovation by welcoming and supporting the maker movement in Connecticut.
The event is sponsored by:
• The Children’s Museum
• Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology
• Connecticut Education Network
• Connecticut Library Consortium
• Goodwin College
• Harvest Development Group
• JCJ Architecture
• Melissa Thom Consulting
• Open Wire Lab LLC
• Rutledge Family Foundation
• University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center